Food Industry in Greater Reading, PA
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Food Industry in Greater Reading, PA

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If your business is looking to grow or expand, Greater Reading offers a unique opportunity to be something greater. ...

If your business is looking to grow or expand, Greater Reading offers a unique opportunity to be something greater.

Many recognizable regional (and national) food products are made in Greater Reading, Pennsylvania.

Greater Reading Economic Partnership will open the door to rewarding new opportunities for your business—and help you be something greater.

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  • I am going to talk about the critical importance of building partnerships for economic development and the importance of professional development/expansion for you as an individual and an organization.
  • Our strategic location in Eastern PA.
  • Facts about Greater Reading, Berks County, PA
  • Many major companies are headquartered here or have substantial operations in Greater Reading. Top Employers: Reading Hospital and Medical Center, East Penn Manufacturing, Carpenter Technology, St. Joseph Medical Center, Redner’s Warehouse Markets, Boscov’s, Weis Markets, Penske Truck Leasing, Giant Food Stores, Sovereign (Santander) Bank, Med-Ed/First Energy, Associated Wholesalers, Ashley Furniture Industries
  • There is wide representation of international companies in Greater Reading.
  • Why is Greater Reading an excellent choice to locate a new company or grow an existing company?
  • PA fact from U.S. Census Data
  • Berks Agricultural Resource Network promotes farming and the food industry in Berks and began the Bountiful Berks program to promote locally grown or processed foods.  It is all about sustainability.
  • Many recognizable regional (and national) food products are made in Greater Reading.
  • They can produce over 200,000 chickens per week from the plant and also process turkey and duck.
  • Matt Lindenmuth, founder and owner is a former Professional X games star (born and raised in Berks County) – Double Lindy He has raised money for the brewery through Kick Starter. Originally known for the Stonefly IPA, the craft brewery has put out seasonal products such as Cucumber Kolsch, North Ramp Stout (an oatmeal and coffee base) Since officially launching in March 2013 Saucony Creek Brewing Company has developed a presence in 32 eastern Pennsylvania counties and caused quite a stir during Philly Beer Week 2013
  • Unique Pretzel Bakery was founded in 1896 by Paul E. Spannuth and is still a family owned company $8.5 million in tax exempt financing approved by DCED Adding 25 - 35 new jobs What caused the need for the expansion? They were operating 7 days a week state-of-the-art processing and new large-scale baking ovens.
  • Being part of FTZ 147 means that Greater Reading can offer substantial import incentives.
  • These sites offer the best incentive that is offered by the Commonwealth.


  • 1. Food & Beverage Manufacturing – What’s in Greater Reading? October 2, 2013 Pamela Shupp, AICP, CEcD Vice President Greater Reading Economic Partnership
  • 2. 2
  • 3. Greater Reading, PA • Population: 413,000+ and growing • Population growth: 9.7% • Diverse population: – Berks County: 16.4% Latino – City of Reading 60% Latino o 88,000 people • Over 400 companies are headquartered in Greater Reading 3Greater Reading Economic Partnership
  • 4. Greater Reading Major Companies
  • 5. Greater Reading, PA: Internationally Owned Companies – Australia – Belgium – Canada – Denmark – England – France – Germany – Ireland – Israel – Japan – Lebanon – Mexico – Netherlands – Spain – Sweden – Turkey 5 • Over 70+ companies internationally owned, representing:
  • 6. Why Greater Reading? • Over 100 million people within an overnight’s drive • Reliable electric grid • Low risk for natural disasters • Good management relations • Competitive wage manufacturing • Foreign Trade Zone (FTZ) 147 • Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZ) • Convenient access to major Northeast markets 6Greater Reading Economic Partnership
  • 7. Greater Reading Food Facts Greater Reading Economic Partnership 7 • Pennsylvania has more than 1,200 food-processing companies that do $28.1 billion in business each year. Almost 30 percent of these companies are in Berks County or the six counties bordering it. • There are over 3,200 food manufacturing jobs in Greater Reading • The and the were invented in Reading. • Reading has been known as “Pretzel City” and Berks County produces one- third of all the pretzels baked in the United States. The production capabilities of our city’s industry are 15,000,000 in a 5 day week
  • 8. Greater Reading Food Fact • The production of Godiva chocolates, candy and other specialty items for the United States, is manufactured in Reading, Pennsylvania. 8 Note: The Godiva plant in Brussels, Belgium manufactures for the rest of the world.
  • 9. Support for the Food Industry in Greater Reading Greater Reading Economic Partnership 9
  • 10. Support for the Food Industry in Greater Reading • Greater Reading is part of the FOOD MANUFACTURERS' TRAINING CONSORTIUM OF SOUTH CENTRAL PENNSYLVANIA – Covers a 10 county region – In addition to training the Incumbent Workforce, the consortium also works together to: o Gain “Economies of Scale” by doing shared training o Share Best Practices o Pursue Innovation o Advance the Industry o Leverage Grant Access Greater Reading Economic Partnership 10
  • 11. Food Products Made in Greater Reading Greater Reading Economic Partnership 11
  • 12. Recent Food Projects in Greater Reading • Birdsboro Kosher Farms re-opened a former kosher poultry plant and has hired/re-hired 300 employees – all since January 2013. They are now considering a retail product that touts the anti-biotic free product. Greater Reading Economic Partnership 12
  • 13. • Saucony Creek Brewing is a craft brewery that has taken off on the social media scene with products that are pre-ordered and can’t be produced fast enough to meet demand. Greater Reading Economic Partnership 13
  • 14. 14 • Unique Pretzels is under construction with an $8.5 million upgrade and 75,000 SF expansion to their current manufacturing facility. Their pretzel shells are the latest craze in Pretzelmania.
  • 15. Foreign Trade Zone 147 15Greater Reading Economic Partnership • Customs duties are not paid on merchandise exported from a zone • Delays in customs clearances and duty drawback are reduced or eliminated • Spare parts may be stored, returned, or destroyed without duty payment
  • 16. Keystone Opportunity Zones (KOZ) • Over 250 acres of tax free zones - many with benefits through 2023 and in strategic locations with ease of highway access and high visibility. Greater Reading Economic Partnership 16
  • 17. Greater Reading Economic Partnership We are committed to growing companies. Contact Information: (610) 376.437 Jon Scott, President and CEO Deb Heffner, Economic Development Coordinator Aaron Costenbader, Marketing Manager Pamela J. Shupp, Vice President